Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Thanksgiving Visitor

Every Thanksgiving (including, soon, today) I make it a point to re-read "The Thanksgiving Visitor" by Truman Capote.  This is a short story that is essentially a memoir of an event from his childhood as he grew up in Alabama in the household of some older unmarried relations.  I have a copy of this story in a volume with his other more-famous memoir/short story, "A Christmas Memory."  (This volume, which is also in a beautiful slipcover, is one of my most treasured possessions.  If my house were burning down, I would have to fight not to go back in and get it.)  If you are not familiar with this story, then drop EVERYTHING you are doing right now and go find a copy and READ!  Seriously, it is not long and can be easily read in a pleasurable break from the hubbub of Thanksgiving Day.

In the story, the narrator Buddy has his worst nightmare come true when his friend and relative Miss Sook invites the school bully, Odd Henderson, to the Thanksgiving meal.  This simple act casts a pall over what was supposed to be a magical and wonderful day for Buddy.  This story is not moralistic by any means, but it teaches a great lesson about kindness that I think is what draws me back to it every year.  It's a lesson we all need.

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

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